The man who pleaded guilty to stabbing two men at the Mall of America last November was sentenced Friday.
Judge Kerry Meyer ordered Mahad Abdiaziz Adbiraham, 20, to 15-years in prison. With good behavior, he could be paroled in 8 to 10 years.
Authorities said Abdiraham stabbed two brothers – 19-year-old Alexander Sanchez and 25-year-old John Sanchez – in a dressing room at the mall’s Macy’ store.
In the statement read by his attorney following his guilty plea last month, Abdiraham said he went to the Mall of America to answer the “call for jihad by the Chief of Believer, Abu-bakr Al-baghdadi, may Allah protect him, and by the Mujahiden of the Islamic State.”
The statement added, “I understand that the two men I stabbed know and have explained the reason for my attack, and I am here reaffirming that it was indeed an act of Jihad in the way of Allah.”
He declined to make an additional statement at the sentencing Friday. At the end of the hearing, Abdiraham raised the index finger on his right hand, a gesture ISIS militants use to identify themselves, according to experts.
The victims’ aunt responded to Abdiraham’s reasoning for stabbing her nephews after the sentencing Friday.
“I don’t care about Allah and I don’t care about anybody’s beliefs, we all bleed the same color,” Cynthia Leon said.
A victim advocate read an impact statement on behalf of the two brothers who were stabbed in the incident. They said they both remained too injured and too horrified to attend the hearing. Alexander Sanchez has severe injuries to his face and can’t move his left side. John Sanchez’s injuries have prevented him from to returning to his construction job.
“I wake up everyday and look at my face and relive the whole ordeal, over and over and over again,” the victim advocate read. “It will never end for me or my family members.
The same relatives who jumped in to break up the attack at the mall last November were also at the sentencing. “He decided to ruin somebody’s life because of his beliefs,” said Jesus Millan, the victims’ cousin.